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For the 2016 Eve Saville memorial lecture, Professor Sylvia Walby of Lancaster University presents ground-breaking new research questioning official claims that violence has been declining in England and Wales since the mid-1990s.

About this event

Government ministers, official statisticians and many criminologists claim that violence has been in decline across England and Wales since the mid-1990s. But has this decline stopped?

Professor Sylvia Walby OBE will present new evidence that violent crime is increasing not decreasing, driven by an increase in domestic violent crime and violence against women. Violence against men, by contrast, is falling. The increase is concentrated among ‘high frequency’ victims – those who experience multiple attacks. It is made visible by a new method of analysing crime statistics that rejects ‘capping’ and includes all reported crimes.

The timing of the rise in violence coincides with the economic crisis of 2008 – 2009, raising fresh questions about the impact of various aspects of the crisis on violence victimisation.

About the research

The new methodology used by Professor Walby and her co-researchers, Dr Jude Towers and Professor Brian Francis, removes the ‘cap’ limiting the number of violent crimes per victim included in official estimates.

An academic paper by Professor Walby and her co-researchers, detailing the main research findings, has been published in the British Journal of Criminology.

The findings were also featured in The Guardian in January 2016.


Professor Sylvia Walby OBE is Distinguished Professor Sociology, holder of the UNESCO Chair in Gender Research, and Director of the ‘Violence &Society UNESCO Centre’ at Lancaster University.

Venue, time and date

April 12th, 2016 6:00 PM   to   8:00 PM
St Martin’s Hall
St Martin-in-the-Fields
Trafalgar Square
London, WC2N 4JJ
United Kingdom

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Phone: 020 7840 6110
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